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The Making Of A 9/11 Republican

Note: Yes, I'm still on hiatus... I just ran across two articles I had to blog. Then I'll disappear for a while again.

Cinnamon Stillwell has a fantastic article on sfgate.com. I was especially moved because it so mirrored my experiences which I detail below.

The Making Of A 9/11 Republican

...Growing up, I bought into the prevailing liberal wisdom of my surroundings because I didn't know anything else. I wrote off all Republicans as ignorant, intolerant yahoos. It didn't matter that I knew none personally; it was simply de rigueur to look down on such people. The fact that I was being a bigot never occurred to me, because I was certain that I inhabited the moral high ground.

Having been indoctrinated in the postcolonialist, self-loathing school of multiculturalism, I thought America was the root of all evil in the world. Its democratic form of government and capitalist economic system was nothing more than a machine in which citizens were forced to be cogs. I put aside the nagging question of why so many people all over the world risk their lives to come to the United States. Freedom of speech, religious freedom, women's rights, gay rights (yes, even without same-sex marriage), social and economic mobility, relative racial harmony and democracy itself were all taken for granted in my narrow, insulated world view.

So, what happened to change all that? In a nutshell, 9/11. The terrorist attacks on this country were not only an act of war but also a crime against humanity. It seemed glaringly obvious to me at the time, and it still does today. But the reaction of my former comrades on the left bespoke a different perspective. The day after the attacks, I dragged myself into work, still in a state of shock, and the first thing I heard was one of my co-workers bellowing triumphantly, "Bush got his war!" There was little sympathy for the victims of this horrific attack, only an irrational hatred for their own country.
Thoroughly disgusted by the behavior of those on the left, I began to look elsewhere for support. To my astonishment, I found that the only voices that seemed to me to be intellectually and morally honest were on the right. Suddenly, I was listening to conservative talk-show hosts on the radio and reading conservative columnists, and they were making sense. When I actually met conservatives, I discovered that they did not at all embody the stereotypes with which I'd been inculcated as a liberal.

The whole thing is a must, must, must, must read. She brilliantly outlines what is wrong with the American left and why she left them. She talks about her experiences at anti-war protests and the anti-semitism on the left.

I went thru a similar transformation. Being born in the mid 60's and the youngest child in a large family, I was greatly influenced by my older siblings' hippie lifestyles. I was once a member of Greenpeace and marched with striking workers I had never met before, who were striking over an issue I knew nothing about. But that is what we did on the left- we marched and chanted.

I, like Cinnamon, rationalized my bigotry and hatred by telling myself that "we were right." But my value system was always conservative - even though I did not know it. I went about 4 years of never watching a newscast. When I tuned back in, I was astonished to see which side was making sense.

I'll never forget the first time I turned Rush Limbaugh on... I wanted to know what "those people" were saying. I approached his show like I would listening to a cult leader... ever wary of his cult leader status and knowing that I'd have to keep my wits about me, lest I be sucked in by his svengali like mind control abilities. I pitied the "ditto-heads" and knew I was smarter than to fall for his shtick.

But a funny thing happened when I opened my ears. I realized that the other side was right. I realized that much of the crap I was spouting was nonsense and could not stand up to any critical review. When I stopped long enough to think about my "beliefs," I realized they were not based in reality. They were not "beliefs," they were simply a recitation of leftist talking points.

The final straw was when I subscribed to the Conservative Chronicle which is simply a collection of op-ed pieces from modern conservative thinkers. I subscribed out of curiosity but after a few issues I realized the conservatives were running logical circles around the left. Conservatives were speaking about ideas and ideals and liberals were speaking about hatred and fear. (not much has changed in the political arena since then either)

So now, like a newly sober drunk or a reformed smoker, I'm pretty hard-core. I now see that one side really is a bunch of cultists. -- But it is the left. And it annoys me that so many otherwise rational people will spout utter nonsense because the cult leaders tell them to.

I should have pity or at least empathy for them, for once I was doing the same thing... but I don't. The only tool required to see reality is a brain. If these people refuse to use theirs, I can't feel any pity for them.

It is a grim reality that it took 9/11 to wake Cinnamon up, but I'm glad it did. Welcome to reality Cinnamon, it's a far better place.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Making Of A 9/11 Republican:

» Speed of Thought... linked with Round the Reader

» Our Life linked with From Left to Right After 9/11

» what if? linked with What Makes Sense

» Joust The Facts linked with To Be Conservative

» Sub Cultro linked with Wizbang is a reformed Liberal too

» N.O. Pundit linked with The Pit (in my stomach) and the Pendulum

» No Oil for Pacifists linked with Another Home Run

» BatesLine linked with The dash (to the right) of Cinnamon

Comments (37)

Nice breath of fresh air. I... (Below threshold)

Nice breath of fresh air. If only more libs would quit holding their noses in the presence of conservative thinking!

Now that she has committed ... (Below threshold)

Now that she has committed the unforgivable (outed herself as a Republican) Cinnamon will recieve one more proof about how right she was: the deluge of left-oriented hate email sure to come.
My heart goes out to her.

Someone should put the lady in touch with Protestwarrior.

When you are young and naiv... (Below threshold)

When you are young and naive it seems like being a liberal is a good idea. It's only when you grow up and realize life is not a fairy tale; that you understand what liberalism has cost this country.

Paul, I could have written ... (Below threshold)

Paul, I could have written almost the same essay as you.

I'm about the same age as you, I grew up in a liberal family in a liberal area, and I took all the liberal beliefs for granted. Of course the Democrats were on the side of the Good.

I had conservative instincts but didn't realize it. I thought unilateral disarmament was silly because I knew that bullies could not be trusted to uphold their side of the bargain. Likewise, I recognized that if people are willing to take great personal risks to leave a country, something is very wrong with that country.

Still, I thought that the Democrats meant well, and that the Republicans were ignorant, selfish, bigoted people.

Immediately after 9/11, I knew that I would have to support GWB, so I began to pay a little more attention, to see what else I might be inadvertently supporting... and I found that I had been fed a pack of lies and caricatures about the Right.

I found that the arguments and reasoning of the Right had been almost completely suppressed in the press. I learned facts and saw reasoning that I had completely unaware of.

I'm convinced that the Left truly needs its distortions of the Right in order to hold onto power. But things are changing, as the Left no longer holds a monopoly on the information channels.

" There was little sympathy... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

" There was little sympathy for the victims of this horrific attack, only an irrational hatred for their own country.
Does this guy work in the MSM. Sounds like Peter Jennigs or Larry King he is dexcribing.

SB describing... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

SB describing

Growing up in not only in a... (Below threshold)

Growing up in not only in a democrat family, but with a father in the state legislature and uncles and grandfathers as mayors, I was stone cold democrat. Until Reagan. I came over from the dark side and brought my whole family with me.

I was very similar-except I... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I was very similar-except I was born at the very end of the 60's.

I was very liberal during my teens/college years, and I sort of gradually began to see the light on various issues, until my transformation was complete.

Your post made me realize t... (Below threshold)

Your post made me realize that even though I,too, remember the first time I started to really listen to Rush, and have also heard many callers say they also remember the first time they listened to Rush, it really does seem as if- for a lot of people- that it was a turning point in their lives.
I do have one question, though, and I hope you can answer it. In my state, Michigan, we have Democrats that have been elected and re-elected over and over again for years. This in spite of the low returns we get from having them in office. In Massachusettes you have the same situation. What I want to know is how these non productive, self-serving and self important people keep getting elected. In a work situation they would no doubt be fired for lack of productivity but in government they just keep going. It makes no sense to me. Can you explain it?

The one common thing I hear... (Below threshold)

The one common thing I hear from every former democrat I know is that they got sick of the dishonesty of liberalism. Last year several one-time staunch dems were laughing about Kerry's Cambodia river trip and how at one time they would have accepted it as fact since they were convinced conservatives were the liars. Once they started paying attention to what their side was saying and questioning it they couldn't stomach the party any longer.

Man, do I think this is tru... (Below threshold)
Ray Midge:

Man, do I think this is true. So many leftists like Cinnamon are looking at their comrades now and waking up. Watching that man react to 9/11 as she describes will cause any person to reassses any beliefs they hold in common with such a person.

I believe the Iraqi vote was an even bigger such event. A lot of leftists woke up two weeks after election day and wondered why their strongest (unspoken) emotional reaction to the spread of democracy was one of disappointment, why their every argument as to it's insignificance was born from a place of furor at the very occurrance. These are not evil people. More and more they will began to wonder, when they examine themselves, 'Am I really like that?' They will begin to question the set of principles that had backed them into such a corner. Were they really that guy raving on the lefty blogs that this meant nothing? 'To "keep the faith" I have to despise what happened?'

I think a sizable subset of people end up left/right by looking about and asking themselves, am I like that Republican/Democrat on TV, his clothes, his hair and finally, his beliefs? And they ask themselves not 'do I believe what that man believes', but 'am I comfortable being against what he's against?'

The civil rights movement was probably the biggest transformative event for such people of the last half of the 20th century. Because of that event, the visceral impact of Bull Connors, Police Dogs and Fire hoses (despite the actual political party of the south) Democrats were generated in droves and decent Republicans switched sides.

The reaction to the Iraqi vote (and 9/11) are and will continue to be HUGE "I-can't-be-like-those-people" transformative events. Rave on Ward Churchills, rave on.

Me too.Was one befor... (Below threshold)

Me too.
Was one before I paid attention.
Now I am astonished at what has been happening since Viet Nam. I am a little older, born in the mid fifties, but the parallels are the same.
Winston Chrchill said it best:

"Any 20 year-old who isn't a liberal doesn't have a heart, and any 40 year-old who isn't a conservative doesn't have a brain."

I guess I'm all brain, sinc... (Below threshold)

I guess I'm all brain, since I don't think I've ever been liberal.

No heart, though, but then again I laugh at everything and everyone. I'd find some way to laughat my mother's funeral. Despiccable? Probably, but its a way to look at life, not taking things too seriously.

Yes it sounds like that gu... (Below threshold)
Jo macphearson:

Yes it sounds like that guy works for Larry King.

I grew up a farmboy conserv... (Below threshold)

I grew up a farmboy conservative, tried to be a commie when I got back from Nam but I didn't like them and they didn't like me (or anyone else), so it was easy to readopt a conservative point of view. I'd prefer to be apolitical but that's another story.

I'd prefer to be apoliti... (Below threshold)

I'd prefer to be apolitical but that's another story.

Actually, most conservative voters would just as son be apolitical, but the liberal influences in so many of our cultural institutions mean that conservative-leaning people have to be political just to keep things from getting even worse.

So true, McGehee.Pri... (Below threshold)

So true, McGehee.
Price of freedom, constant vigilance.
(Unfortunate that it has to include vigilance against a 5th column.)

J, follow the money buddy, ... (Below threshold)

J, follow the money buddy, follow the money.

Not the money they bring home to the people, but the money and business they bring home to a few friends, who gratefully contribute back to their campaign.

Although as I think about i... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Although as I think about it, my pendulum has sort of swung more towards libertarianism-not to the extent that I would claim the label-there are some libertarian ideas I find insane, when taken to their extreme, but on a lot of social policy, I find myself often more libertarian than right wing conservative.

"What I want to know is how these non productive, self-serving and self important people keep getting elected."

Because we have rigged the system so that the incumbants often have a huge advantage. Also, with the jerrymandering of congressional districts a lot of states have basically created permanent seats in congress for certain parties.

I was pretty much an apolit... (Below threshold)

I was pretty much an apolitical party girl (born in the early 60's). In 1984 we lived on the cusp of a time zone change. This meant I could watch the 6:00 news, and then change the channel to a station from the next state over (

Ooops. Sorry. I think I a... (Below threshold)

Ooops. Sorry. I think I accidentally committed some bad html code.
Okay, we lived where I could watch the news, then flip the channel to a station from the next state over, which was less than five miles from our house.
So for six months in 1984, I got to watch CBS, then flip channels and watch NBC, or ABC. From time to time during the day I also listened to news on a Christian radio station- my only access to what could be called 'conservative news at the time.'
I was flabbergasted at how biased the MSM news was, and even then, Dan Rather and CBS were clearly utterly uninterested in presenting fair, balanced information. I was so angry at being lied to by the MSM, that I pretty much was driven to the right as a natural reaction. my resentment at their attempts to manipulate me acted like jet fuel and propelled me away their lies and into the truth. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction....

WendiSue said:For... (Below threshold)

WendiSue said:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction....
Newton's third law. It can be applied not only to masses in motion, but to other areas of interest as well.

Folks, the Left hasn't had ... (Below threshold)

Folks, the Left hasn't had any ideas since the 1930's. Read some of Ayn Rand's essays (if you think you can resist the urge to become a Randroid) from the 1940's, she was saying the same thing.

Newton's third law. It c... (Below threshold)

Newton's third law. It can be applied not only to masses in motion, but to other areas of interest as well.

I disagree.

- The first lessons we begi... (Below threshold)

- The first lessons we begin to learn in life always tend to be founded in the very sound idea that "letting emotions cloud your thinking when making important decisions is a bad idea"...

- That a main tenet of the left is stated as, "The emotion is the message", is really all anyone with a working mind needs to know about their thinking...

- At times it seems as if America has been in a deep sleep over the past 40 years. that the tenticles of the Marxist/Socialist/Communist left has been busily infultrating important institutions in American society such as the school system and the press/TV. But now with 9/11 and the recent election it also seems that theres an awakening and the most visable catalyst is the hatred, lies, and obstrutionism pouring forth from the left, and unhappily for the Democrats, their party as well.

- The good news is that sooner or later the socialist agenda will always fail, no matter how many ways they try to endoctrinate, simply because of American pride and independence, which is really what those in the world that are jealous hate us for, and why those same people can't get here fast enough......

- The thing I find the most loathsome about the AssHats is they have no pride in their own country and little in themselves as far as I can tell. No core...No principles.... everything is based on "relativism" and avoidence of personal responsibility. Theism taken to its worst extreme....

- The same totured logic that will allow a moonbat to be late to the allnight candle gathering for a serial killer since she had to stop and have a Doctor drill a hole through the babies head she's carrying because her progessive boyfriend would dump her. Its pure sick madness......

Tell me where you disagree ... (Below threshold)

Tell me where you disagree mantis and then we can have a debate.

Actually that was an entire... (Below threshold)

Actually that was an entirely too vague reference to the Simpsons that amused only me. It was from last year when chemist Dudley Herschbach and whatshername from that show Alias present the Nobel Prize to Prof. Frink. She comments that her job and Herschbach's are a lot alike, and he simply responds, "I disagree".

But more substantively, I urge you to find any place in the social or political world (to which I assume you were referring), where the immutable laws of newtonian physics have an equivalence. To provide a negative, I am often appalled by the ridiculous behavior and beliefs of people on the same side of the political spectrum as me, but I am not repelled from my beliefs (or my delusions, as you may have it). On the flipside, the ridiculous behavior and beliefs of some people on the right do not propel me further left either.

However maybe the fact that my beliefs are the result of my considering all the information I can get rather than whether I happen to like all of the people who share some of my opinions. Most of the conservatives I've met, who didn't have a religious axe to grind, are very reasonable and thoughtful people. And yes, many of the liberals I have met are naive, foolish, and far too angry for their own good. So if we follow Henry's third law of political motion, I should become more conservative. I haven't.

In any case I don't think this is worth debating as there are few who would suppose that there are laws of human behavior like motion or gravity.

RE: mantis's post (February... (Below threshold)

RE: mantis's post (February 27, 2005 01:48 AM)
I disagree.

I was going to respond simply, touché, to the obvious retort to agreement, but you went and spoiled it with your long Simpsons diversion. I rescind my belated touché.

I had to tell you of my rescinded, belated respone since I had already decided to respond. (Newton's First Law)

"The good news is that soon... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"The good news is that sooner or later the socialist agenda will always fail, no matter how many ways they try to endoctrinate, "

Yes, but the question is how much damage will the do before it fails.

I guess I was born conserva... (Below threshold)
John S.:

I guess I was born conservative. I found myself defending conservative ideas in class in high school and later in college at the height of the late-hippy era. (I learned about liberal intolerance real fast.) Needless to say the conservative turnaround in the past 30 years has been very satisfying.

9/11 may have turned some f... (Below threshold)

9/11 may have turned some folks heads, but mine was already twisted long before then...

I was always an independent cuss, and I can’t say I am a rock hard “conservative.” But having adolesced through the late 60’s and early 70’s, I’d have to say there were two aspects to my complete rejection of the Democratic Party and what it promoted. Even before I had totally rejected those donkeys, I placed my first vote not for McGovern, but Shirley Chisholm. There was a lady candidate for president who was out to challenge the Ol’ Boys network.

Anyways, aspect #1 = LOCAL POLITICS. Not at the state, but town and county levels. From school boards, town/city council meetings and county sheriff’s office shenanigans, I watched Democrats show what they really stood for and how they operated. I was there and knew the real story from first hand observation, neighbors and friends. Unfortunately I also got to see Republicans at the same game. The major difference was that the ones who advanced to State and National positions in the Democrats seemed to be of the bottom feeder variety, and the bumpkin Republicans were for the most part kept “down on the farm” with more cream versus feces rising to the top.

Second aspect: Jimmy Carter. I pains me greatly to say I voted for him. OUCH. I had regrets almost immediately. I liked the man and his ideals. I let that blind me to the realities of leadership. Lesson learned. At least his victory wasn’t a squeeker. A lot of other folks made the same mistake.

I should have known better. Though I am not a mass murdered like BTK, I went through Boy Scouts. Long before I voted for Carter. Had one little JD punk who kept challenging me and authority in general. We tried all the textbook liberal approaches to this poor scarred, misunderstood and underprivileged victim of society. The last straw was when he kicked me in the ass and broke my coccyx. That was when I got it through my thick head that the namby pamby Dear Abby approach was not going to work with him. I bided my time (had to avoid MSM - main-stream mother - attention) and cleaned his clock with a single punch to his glass jaw in the back of the school bus. He never bothered me or anyone in the troop again, but I suspect he's still muttering about being oppressed and misunderstood.

If only I had learned how to apply that lesson more broadly earlier...

- Just Me - Yes....yes they... (Below threshold)

- Just Me - Yes....yes they did damage... But the even gooderer news is its doubtful the left will ever again enjoy the monopolies they've had in the past....High speed, "right now" communications has changed everything....

- America has always had an "open" press to one degree or another. But theres a new sheriff in town in the form of conservative Radio, cable, and the right side of the blogsphere, which asserts a withering search light on all of the partisan bias and disembling in the media of the past. In schools people are beginning to understand the dangers and get seriously involved. As far as the 9th circuit and Supreme courts, the Republicans are rectifying that situation even now....

- All in all, the left is on the run everywhere you look, and to their own detriment they don't seem to "get it", as they continue along the path of impulsive self "outing" that just insures their demise....

- Probably at some point in the future the biggest problem will be when too much success threatens to polute the right, lacking a healthy counter view viable second party. Thats the only negative potential I see in the near to medium term. I'd like to see the Dem's divest themselves of any ties with the extreme left, and get back to more centrist roots. Thats the path that Hillery is taking, and if she's successful by 2006 or 2008, Dean, Kennedy, Polosi, Kerry and the rest of the AssHats may just be a sour memory...

I had to tell you of my ... (Below threshold)

I had to tell you of my rescinded, belated respone since I had already decided to respond. (Newton's First Law)

That's funny. Anyway I guess I should keep my Simpsons references to myself. But, on the other hand, I would prefer not to.

RE: mantis's post (February... (Below threshold)

RE: mantis's post (February 27, 2005 02:07 PM)
That's funny. Anyway I guess I should keep my Simpsons references to myself...

Nah, keep 'em coming. I just felt like working in some physics; after all, how often in normal discourse can you mention Newton's First and Third Laws? I figure it happens about as often as one may successfully combine "logical" and "Liberal" so we should celebrate the event. ;)

Shorter Paul: people who di... (Below threshold)
Charlie T.:

Shorter Paul: people who disagree with me don't have a brain.

And liberals are the intolerant ones...

I figure it happens abou... (Below threshold)

I figure it happens about as often as one may successfully combine "logical" and "Liberal" so we should celebrate the event. ;)


So, if 9/11 turns out to be... (Below threshold)
Jobby McInsider:

So, if 9/11 turns out to be a inside job, you guys will admit to being credulous morons, right? Right?

Hysterical. "I used to think for myself until that got tiring. Now, I let Rush do it for me!"






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